TORONTO – The editor-in-chief of a Canadian magazine has stepped down amid a contentious conversation about cultural appropriation in Canadian media and literature.A representative from The Walrus says Jonathan Kay resigned on Saturday evening.On Friday, Kay wrote an opinion piece in the National Post defending the right to debate cultural appropriation, when somebody takes an image or experience from a marginalized culture without permission, and claims it as their own.His piece was in response to backlash faced by Hal Niedzviecki, who resigned as editor of Write magazine and apologized for his article in the Writers’ Union of Canada publication, after drawing ire for appearing to endorse the unauthorized use of indigenous knowledge and traditions.After Niedzviecki resigned, a number of prominent figures in Canadian media pledged money to an appropriation prize.Kay wrote in his column that he believes in open debate about issues like cultural appropriation.But about Niedzviecki’s resignation, he wrote, “the careers of editors-in-chief are brief and unpredictable,” and he said he suspected he would eventually go the same way.“Perhaps all the sooner, thanks to this column,” he wrote.In an email, Kay wrote that his reasons for leaving the magazine were “somewhat mundane” — that his interests as an editor no longer aligned with the priorities of the organization that produces the magazine, the Walrus Foundation.“In recent years, the great success of Walrus Talks, which tend to feature a very different kind of content, have left their mark on the organization’s list of priorities,” he said of the lecture series that focuses on Canada’s role in the world.“It was my job to either respect that changing landscape or leave. I elected to leave. That’s my decision, and I don’t blame anyone for forcing me into it.”
TORONTO – Sears Canada begins its liquidation sales Thursday at its stores across the country as it prepares to shut its doors for good after 65 years.A Sears Canada spokesman says customers can expect deep discounts of up to 50 per cent off at its 74 department stores, and up to 30 per cent off at its eight Home stores, Calgary has four locations.Liquidation sales at its 49 Sears Hometown stores are due to start today, or shortly, but discounts there will vary, the spokesman adds.The sales are expected to last between 10 to 14 weeks.Sears Canada timed its liquidation sales to take advantage of the busy holiday shopping season.The national retailer has been in creditor protection since June, but was unable to find a buyer which would allow it to keep operating.
VANCOUVER – A port worker says he suspected large plumes of oil that were shining on the surface of the water in Vancouver’s harbour nearly three years ago was bunker fuel, based on the smell.A B.C. provincial court judge heard Monday that Mark James of the Port of Metro Vancouver responded to reports of a spill on April 15, 2015.“When you smell gasoline, you know the smell of gasoline,” James testified on the opening day of a trial for a company and vessel charged after the spill. “We knew it was bunker oil, which was serious.”The charges were laid after 2,700 litres of fuel leaked into English Bay.A judge earlier allowed the trial to go ahead even without one defendant attending the hearing.The Greek shipping firm Alassia NewShips Management Inc. and the vessel MV Marathassa face 10 environmental related charges, including alleged violations under the Fisheries Act and the Canadian Environment Protection Act.Alassia has denied ownership of the Marathassa and the company was not represented in court on Monday. Judge Kathryn Denhoff previously ruled the trial would proceed without Alassia’s participation, and she affirmed that decision as the trial began.Outside court, Crown attorney Jessica Lawn said Alassia is the alleged operator of the vessel and evidence supporting that assertion could be valuable to the case.“It’s the Crown’s duty to prove that Alassia, as charged on the information, committed the offences in the way that we’ve alleged,” she said.In his testimony, James said he spotted patches of oil as long as 4.5 metres and as wide as two metres while he tried to investigate the source. He described collecting samples and investigating about a half dozen vessels that were anchored in the bay at the time.When he boarded the Marathassa, James said the captain gave him a blank sheet of paper with the vessel’s letterhead so that he could take some of the notes he relied on in court.The Crown had James read the footer of the sheet to the court, which included Alassia’s name, address and contact information.Marathassa’s counsel, David Jones, was in court to cross-examine James.Alassia explained its reasons for not appearing in provincial court in a separate decision from the B.C. Supreme Court, saying to do so would indicate it recognizes the court’s authority to hear the case.In that case, the firm is fighting the process used to serve a summons. The court supported a justice of the peace’s certification of the summons in a ruling last fall, but Alassia has filed an appeal.Lawn said if convicted, the firm and vessel could face significant fines, with maximum penalty for some of the violations set at $4 million.First responders, investigators from Transport Canada and environmental experts are expected to testify in the coming weeks, Lawn said.The trial is scheduled to continue until April 20.
New Delhi: The Supreme Court Monday said it would hear together on May 10 the pleas seeking review of its verdict on the Rafale fighter jet case and the contempt petition against Congress President Rahul Gandhi for allegedly attributing some remarks to it.A special bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said that the petitions seeking review of its December 14 last year verdict would come up for hearing on May 10. The bench, also comprising Justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph, expressed surprise as to how the review pleas and the contempt petition against Gandhi were listed separately on different dates when it had earlier ordered that both the cases will be heard together. “We are little perplexed that the two cases are listed on two different dates when the order was that these matters will be heard together,” the bench said.
Rabat – Morocco has a comparative advantage in terms of promoting democracy and human rights, said, on Wednesday in Rabat, the speaker of the National Diet of Sweden (Swedish Parliament) Per Westerberg.We have a very positive relationship with the Kingdom of Morocco which has a comparative advantage in terms of strengthening democracy and respect for human rights, said Westerberg during a press conference on the sidelines of his two-day visit to the Kingdom. He added that Sweden supports the vision of the United Nations (UN) regarding the Sahara issue, and remains open to any discussion on the prospects in the region. Economically, Westerberg expressed his country’s will to foster bilateral cooperation and remove obstacles hampering trade exchanges.
They join 83 personnel already deployed in the area, and UNAMID said it expects it to come up to its full complement of 335 staff in the next few days.The contingent which arrived today – including construction, de-mining and water desalination platoons – has been assigned to the construction and maintenance of El Fasher airport.Yesterday, UNAMID’s head, Rodolphe Adada, met with Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir in Darfur and pointed out that the mission had thousands of containers awaiting “movement along the difficult and sometimes dangerous routes into Darfur.” Mr. Adada also called on the Government to ensure that the convoys reach their destinations safely. Also yesterday, UNAMID announced that it was continuing to suspend the temporary relocation of its non-essential UN personnel. Around 300 people were moved out of Darfur before the relocation was halted last Friday. Some 300,000 people are estimated to have been killed as a result of direct combat, disease or malnutrition since 2003. Another 2.7 million people have been displaced because of fighting between rebels, Government forces and allied militiamen known as the Janjaweed. 24 July 2008A contingent of 126 Egyptian engineers today arrived in El Fasher, Darfur, according to the joint United Nations-African Union peacekeeping mission (UNAMID).
TORONTO — Zippers. Garbage bags. Paint rollers. Some items are so ingrained in our lives we don’t stop to consider life without them — how we would do up a jacket, take out the trash or give a wall a fresh coat of paint.But without the Canadians behind these inventions, all these tasks — and many more — would prove a little more difficult.Without Joseph Leopold Coyle’s “Eureka” moment more than 100 years ago, for example, carrying eggs home from the grocery store might be a whole lot messier.“There were ways of shipping eggs before Mr. Coyle, but the modern, paper container begins with him,” says Lorne Hammond, the curator of human history at the Royal BC Museum in Victoria.Coyle is among Canada’s countless tinkerers, inventors, scientists and engineers whose creations have changed the modern world. But his tale is also a cautionary one at a time Canadian governments are trying to figure out how to foster innovation that will drive the 21st century economy. While his invention remains used to this day, it never earned him a big payout.Many business leaders, academics and policy-makers say Canada must get better at converting the innovations and intellectual property that flow from its finest minds into successful global companies.Canada has a proud history of innovation and has “truly punched above its weight,” says Greg Dick, director of educational research at Perimeter Institute. The Waterloo, Ont., theoretical physics research hub is one of five organizations behind Innovation150, a year-long, cross-country tour designed to inspire youth to innovate.Perimeter itself was launched in 2000 with funds from the founders of BlackBerry, the smartphone pioneer that grew into a global player, but later lost most of its market share to foreign competitors.Dick rattles off a list of Canadian contributions to a wide variety of fields: time zones from Sir Sandford Fleming, dubbed the “Father of Standard Time;” basketball, courtesy of the imagination of Dr. James Naismith; more recently, a vaccine to fight the Ebola outbreak in West Africa that began in 2013 designed by scientists at Canada’s National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg.“The sunglasses for snow blindness? Invented by the Inuit in the Canadian Arctic,” he continues. “And, peanut butter? There’s a fun one. First patented by a Canadian. â¦ We just really have done an incredible amount of contributing to society.”That’s backed up by the number of patents the Canadian Intellectual Property Office has granted since 1869, when it (then known as Consumer and Corporate Affairs) awarded Canada’s first patent to William Hamilton for his eureka fluid meter.In 1976, the federal agency granted the one millionth patent for “photodegradable polymer masterbatches” and, as of last year, surpassed 1.6 million approved patents with about 37,000 applications received annually over the past decade.But in a sign of how much innovation is going on elsewhere, only about 13 per cent of those applications come from Canadians, according to Agnes Lajoie, assistant commissioner of patents at CIPO. The organization would like that number to move higher.The office is working to raise awareness about the patent system among small- and medium-sized businesses in the country, focusing on high-growth sectors that are intellectual property intensive, like clean technology and aerospace, says Darlene Carreau, director general of CIPO’s business services branch.“Canadians are very innovative,” she says. “We don’t tend to toot our own horn or highlight our successes like other jurisdictions may, but I think we need to get better at doing that.”One of those early, little-known inventions came from Coyle, who secured a grade school education before working his way up from cleaner and newspaper delivery boy to founding The Interior News in 1910 (it continues to publish today).Back then, the paper’s office stood in what was known as Aldemere in British Columbia’s Bulkley Valley near a hotel that was the spot of frequent fighting between the hotelier and a farmer, Gabriel Lacroix. The owner hated that his regular order of eggs often arrived as a mess of runny yolks.One day, Coyle overheard this argument and that — as legend has it — was his a-ha moment. He set out to create a container to keep the eggs intact from coop to customer. In a 1917 patent application to CIPO, he described a “simple, inexpensive and safe” way to carry a dozen eggs at once in an egg box that suspended and supported each one without letting it touch the others. Coyle later obtained patents for several other countries as demand for his egg box grew.The “venture is going to beat the band and getting bigger and bigger every day,” Coyle wrote in a letter to his former newsroom colleagues in the winter of 1919, according to an article the paper published that year. A year later, however, he admitted in another article that an obstacle stood in the way of expansion: the cost of production.Coyle holed himself away for several weeks to fashion a machine that could manufacture his product less expensively and by the end of March 1920, it was operational.The newspaperman-turned-inventor also received patents for an automobile lock that prevented a steering wheel from moving until the device was removed, a match safe that divvied out one match at a time and could trim the end of a cigar, and a cash till that could separate coins by amount and dispense them individually.“He was just, sort of, an inventive soul,” says Kira Westby, the curator at the Bulkley Valley Museum in Smithers, B.C.Coyle worked with distributors and set up his own factories in Canada and America to make the cartons. But by the 1950s, Hammond says, Coyle faced major competition from others creating simpler egg cartons from plastic rather than moulded pulp.Coyle simply couldn’t keep up with the change in the industry, his daughter Ellen Myton, who died just before the new millennium at the age of 87, said when she spoke about her father’s legacy with the British Columbia Historical News in 1982.“Conversion of the plant to new machinery and methods would have involved huge expenditure,” she said.“As is so often the case with inventors, he was no match for the sharp practices of big business and their sharper lawyers,” his daughter said. “The Coyle carton made several millionaires, but dad was not one of them.”Her father died at the age of 100 on April 18, 1972. His death certificate identified him the “inventor of paper boxes.”“It’s quirky, and yet it’s everyday. Everyone’s familiar with it,” says Hammond. “We still buy eggs lined out in two rows in the same way that Coyle visualized it.”Dick believes Canadians, like Coyle, are creative, thoughtful and willing to take risks, but the Canadian psyche tends to not realize we can be world leaders.“We’re exactly at that right time in history where we can sort of shift that mind set,” he says.Among those pushing for change is former BlackBerry co-CEO Jim Balsillie, who said in a recent essay that Canada has the most superficial discourse around innovation policy in any of the 140 countries in which he has done business. He said a successful intellectual property (IP) sector relies on a tightly designed ecosystem of highly technical interlocking policies focused on scaling up companies.The Canadian government also made innovation a focus of its March 22 budget, using the term more than 200 times. It said it would place “big bets” on sectors including clean technology, agri-food and advanced manufacturing.One area where Canada is now leading is the quantum space, Dick says, saying the country’s researchers in Waterloo, Ont., are believed to be about 15 months ahead of the rest of the world.He compares the anticipated upcoming second quantum revolution with what happened in Silicon Valley during the digital revolution.“Being ahead of the curve puts us in the ideal position to attract talent, to attract investors, to just be that hotbed of that innovation into a whole new way to see the world and to change the world.”Follow @AleksSagan on Twitter.
The President’s office said that two different views had been expressed in legal, civil and political circles about the duration of the term of Presidency after the enactment of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution.In order to dispel this confusion, the President had sought the opinion of the Supreme Court regarding the actual term of office. According to the powers vested on the President under the Constitution, the President has the right to seek the opinion of the Supreme Court. The former Presidents who held office had also sought the opinion of the Supreme Court during their tenures. (Colombo Gazette) The five judge bench of the Supreme Court last week held an open court hearing to determine the number of years the President can hold office. President Maithripala Sirisena has been told by the Supreme Court his term is limited to only five years.The Presidential Secretariat said that the Supreme Court had communicated this to the President after the President had sough the advise of the court. A five judge bench had been appointed by the Supreme Court to decide on President Maithripala Sirisena’s term in office.
The meeting was focussed on promoting best practices and recommendations on all areas relevant to youth and migration policy, including making young people a part of the decision-making process, empowering young migrants, and countering hate speech against vulnerable people on the move.In his opening speech to the meeting, António Vitorino, Director General of IOM, declared that, with 1.8 billion young people – those aged between 10 and 24 – in the world today, it is essential to ensure that they are given the opportunity to determine their own futures.Pointing to the recent protests by schoolchildren against climate change that have taken place in many countries, Mr. Vitorino said that this shows that today’s youth is already finding its voice: “The question is whether we are ready to listen, and act.”With many young people finding job opportunities limited in their home countries, he continued, they are taking extensive risks, to find a better life overseas. But, he said, while “risk-taking is a characteristic of the young, and one that drives our societies forward with each new generation, such risks should not be taken at the cost of lives or livelihoods.”António Vitorino also emphasised the importance of education to young migrants, many of whom are denied access to training opportunities in host countries, and experience discrimination in schools. He called on governments to ensure that they are treated “equally, with dignity, and full respect for their human rights.”Maria Fernanda Espinosa, President of the General Assembly, also took up the theme of risk-taking by young migrants. She mentioned the migrant death toll, estimated at more than 60,000 since the beginning of the century, and the thousands of human trafficking victims. Those young migrants who successfully make it to a desired destination country may face, she said, the “cruel practice’ of separation from their parents by the authorities, xenophobia, racism and other forms of intolerance.Ms. Espinosa and Mr. Vitorino were joined on the podium by Jayathma Wickramanayake, The UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, who raised the importance of the UN’s Youth 2030 strategy, which aims to scale up global, regional and national actions to meet young people’s needs, and described the International Dialogue as “an important step” on the way to engaging “the most marginalized young people.”Ms. Wickramanayake said that she was “deeply worried” by the largely negative narrative and political polarization surrounding migration, calling for more recognition to be given to the important role that young people play in “the achievement of sustainable development and their positive contributions to origin and host communities.”The International Dialogue on Migration was created in 2001 by the IOM, to provide a forum for policy dialogue between policy dialogue between host and destination countries, civil society, migrants, experts and other relevant parties.
Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling sits courtside with V. Stiviano during a game against the Utah Jazz at the Staples Center in October 2013.Credit: Courtesy of MCTBanned for life.That is the exact punishment handed down to Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling by NBA commissioner Adam Silver Tuesday, after an audio recording was leaked over the weekend that captured Sterling making racist comments to his girlfriend.Silver not only banned Sterling for life, but also fined him $2.5 million, which is the maximum fine allowed by the NBA constitution. Silver said in a press conference the money will go toward “organizations dedicated to anti-discrimination and tolerance efforts” to be decided on by the NBA and its players association.Silver absolutely made the right decision, and should be commended for acting quickly and appropriately.The comments made by Sterling have no place in sports or in society. Thanks to the leadership of Silver, they did not go unpunished.One can only hope the reaction of the players and fans, which has thus far been professional, remains that way.I not only feel awful for the black community, but for those within the Clippers organization, especially the players who are in the midst of a highly competitive playoff series with the Golden State Warriors.As a former athlete at the high school level and club level in college, I know that off the field – or in this case, court – situations can sometimes disrupt one’s ability to perform, and I hope not only the Clippers, but all NBA players, will be able to rise above this situation and continue to succeed on the court.I also hope this situation does not cause any sort of issue between players of different races in the locker room. One would hope in today’s society this would not be a problem, however, Sterling’s comments should not be a part of today’s society either.Some people have suggested players and fans alike boycott the upcoming playoff games, but I feel that action would prove nothing. Sure, Sterling won’t profit from the upcoming games, but what of the players who have worked so hard all season and are chasing a championship?I firmly believe once that first whistle blows, all outside circumstances cease and it is strictly a game. The focus is on the game and that alone.I do not believe I am alone in saying that I hope the NBA owners vote to eliminate Sterling permanently, and I believe we as an American society would emerge from this stronger and more united.As a white male, I cannot begin to understand what the black community must feel, or the distrust that must be felt by those associated with the Clippers organization. I can, however, offer them my full support in the hope that justice will be served and Sterling will be rightfully punished for his actions.
Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Minority rights advocate Dr Panayote Dimitras, co-founder and executive director of the Greek Helsinki Monitor is visiting Melbourne next week to deliver a public seminar. The speech, entitled On the Effective Implementation of Human and Minority Rights in Europe will explore perceived threats to the rights of minorities in Greece, Bulgaria and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM). Dr Dimitras is a founding member of the NGO ‘Minority Rights Group – Greece’- the Greek affiliate to Minority Rights Group International.Organisers of the presentation say Dr Dimitras will, “explore how some minorities in the three countries in question have become taboo, through domestic public opinion and official national histories, and how minorities have successfully appealed to the European Court of Human Rights, which has then effectively recognized their existence.” The states are expected to execute these judgments by registering the corresponding minority associations, but seem reluctant to do so. The Melbourne Law School adds that Dr Dimitras will describe, “the sisyphean struggles of these minorities to impose upon the states to show the fundamental respect to their dignity they are entitled to and the reasons why two decades later very little has been achieved.” During his eleven day visit to Australia Dr Dimitras will also deliver public seminars at the University of New South Wales and the Murdoch University, Perth. The presentation at the University of Melbourne will begin at 5.30pm on Wednesday August 17 at 185 Pelham Street, Parkville. Contact Vesna Stefanovski on (03) 8344 6589 for further details or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram If anyone knows how Australian money travels in the global markets these days, it is Matthew Panopoulos. As the National Director of KPMG’s Advisory Business, he is the man who informs some of the biggest investors in the country on how to maximise their wealth and where to place their capital. Superfunds, utilities, as well as mining companies, put their trust and their funds into Panopoulos’ hands every day, with the expectation that they will not regret it. Panopoulos is an investment insider, one of the best in the business. For the last 18 months, his eyes have been set on the roller coaster activity of the global markets. He watches the steep downturn of Greece and the EU closely, while also keeping a concerned eye on the unending problems of the US economy. As economic problems grow by the minute, Panopoulos talks to Neos Kosmos about a new era dawning.With major investors as your clients and the global markets in turmoil, can you tell us how the investment community digests the current economic situation? I am currently advising a major pension fund in Australia investing in very sizeable infrastructure assets in the EU and US…just to give you an idea of the sentiment, while the pension fund that I am advising has plenty of money to deploy, the conditions in Europe in particular, and to a lesser extent in the US, create a lot of nervousness for them to proceed and execute transactions which are multibillion dollar deals. I see a lot of caution and concerns about participating and investing. We see a lack of movement in investments, which is basically the opposite of what the eurozone needs at this point in time in order to move out of the dangerous economic territory, they are in. The case right now is that investment capital is either withdrawn or withheld from the eurozone. For example banks that have previously funded these assets in the US, and they are all European banks, mostly Spanish banks, are looking to, very quickly, exit these assets and realise some cash to take back to their homeland. Just to put a financial parameter around that, I’ve invested $4 billion in a toll road five years ago in the US and as a bank I am at the moment happy to receive 60 to 70 per cent of that debt I lend today, to take the money back to the EU. How well is Australia protected from this new GFC wave? There is a problem out there, no doubt, but we are pretty well protected. We do have some pretty strong economic fundamentals and this will save the day for us. It is not to say we are immune from the problem but given our economic fundamentals and comparing us to other power houses we are in a better state. If we have a downturn in our region, and I mean particularly in China, that will have a more compelling impact on us here than the EU collapsing. Let’s focus on Greece. Greece is already insolvent and some analysts believe an upcoming default is certain. In the meantime, the Greek Government is trying to deflate rumours that Greece will default. What is your opinion on this issue?The message we are getting out of Greece at the moment is ‘we are doing a number of things to fix our known problems. These measures range from austerity measures to cutting costs, to the privatisation of major assets to realise some value and a number of other initiatives. It is a bit of scattergun approach but there are a number of different initiatives the Greek government is trying to implement, and in some cases it has, and it was done successfully in order to avoid handing in the keys to the receiver. But some of these initiatives, like the privatisation, cannot go too far ahead. What do you mean? There is no interest? The interest might be there but it is not the kind of interest Greece wants. If I am a perspective acquirer of those assets I am buying assets in a fire sale scenario so I am not going to pay what the Greek government asks and the asset will not realise that top end value that they are expecting to achieve, in that kind of environment for a couple reasons. Firstly, there is a significant amount of counterparty risk and secondly, it is not a process with competitive tension and a high value interest in these assets. Investors understand that the government is in a hurry to sell and while a bidder might have paid $4 billion in other circumstances, now the bidder will offer two because the Greek government will probably accept two. So these assets that were disclosed as a key element of the solution to decreasing Greece’s debt, will not materialise the value that they are expecting. If that does not go to plan then absolutely they will default. What you are saying is that Greece will default no matter what? Correct. What would be the impact of a Greek default in the global market? And what would be the impact to the people’s everyday life in Greece? I think globally, people have already factored in to their economic decision making that Greece is suffering heavily. I don’t think a formal default from Greece is going to have major implications globally as this has already happened. It is almost like now people are saying, ‘look, that is inevitable, our concern now is whether Italy, Spain or Ireland defaults.’ So I do not think the market will be moving into the unknown world of default and that this will cause a major dent or impact. The more considered view on domestic implications for Greece though is different. Greece is falling in a recession environment, and there is only one thing that follows recession and that is depression. That’s a stated economic statistic and what comes with it is a lot of pain and heartache for everyday life translated in lack of incomes, decrease of spending power and asset values falling lower. Will people’s savings in Greek banks be affected? I would have thought money in a bank, in any financial institution is a safe investment, even if it’s a Greek bank because at the moment all those banks are merging or being bought out, merging or consolidating so you’d expect that your savings are safe. The biggest erosion of value would be in property not for cash in hands. For example a 200,000 euros apartment will be worth half that price after Greece defaults. What is the best bet for Greece? Postpone the inevitable or to go for it now? Something inside me says I do not want them to default. It is a personal sentiment and it is bad for all Greeks living in Greece or abroad. I do not want that outcome to occur. It is inevitable though. And the impact of the go forward position for Greece is a five to ten year recapitalisation scenario, if I was to put it in financial terms. They will need five to ten years to restructure the country to turn it around. I can’t see Greece exiting the eurozone because if they were to exit it that would collapse the EU.I am using examples in my sphere of activity and I would like to add that what is happening to Greece is not an isolated event. Restructuring, receivership, erosion of assets occurs in the private sector everyday and it occurs post GFC more than often. What is happening to Greece economically is no different to what happened to Lehman, during the GFC. To apply those fundamentals, what major economic entities need to do in order to come out of a receivership, is restructuring. It is the same with what Greece needs to do in order to come out of their situation. After all, there is life after a default.
ASA congratulates Alexis Taylor on her recent appointment to serve as Deputy Under Secretary, Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services, at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.ASA growers and staff have worked with Taylor in her previous roles, and look forward to continuing the relationship in her new role.“ASA has enjoyed an excellent working relationship with you, first during your tenure with Congressman Boswell, then when you worked on the 2014 Farm Bill for Senator Baucus, and in your most recent position as Chief of Staff for Under Secretary Scuse,” ASA President Ray Gaesser said in a letter to Taylor. “Your work to promote international trade and to implement programs under the new farm bill has reflected a strong dedication to the interests of soybean farmers, as well as producers of all U.S. agricultural products.”
Drivers on the Northeast 112th Avenue corridor near 18th Street can expect another change in traffic patterns and possible construction delays starting Wednesday. Weather permitting, traffic along 112th Avenue will be reduced to one lane in each direction, the city said. Drivers should be prepared for delays and are encouraged to use alternate routes. The shift is part of the first segment of the city of Vancouver’s 18th Street Northeast Improvement Project, which began in the fall. For additional information, visit http://www.cityofvancouver.us/18thStreet.
WILMINGTON, MA — Below is a press release from the office of State Representative Dave Robertson:In the first committee hearing of the year, the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture committee got off to a fast start for matters relative to the greater Merrimack Valley’s environmental health, in particular Tewksbury and Wilmington. Two such bills relative to the variable pollution levels of the Merrimack River, an ongoing issue for the town of Tewksbury, were at the forefront of the hearing. Each bill addresses an aspect of public health in a complimenting fashion.The first, filed by Sen. DiZoglio, (S. 457) would create a commission to review the health of the Merrimack River and recommend ways to address problems, including the discharge of sewage during loss of power at septic treatment plants or more powerful rain storms. The commission would include state and local officials, as well as such river advocates as the Merrimack River Watershed Council, and charge the advocates for examining pollution, runoff containment, and more. The commission would be required to produce a report within one year of its establishment.“If all goes well with this bill, I would love to see the commission not only look to address Massachusetts communities with recommendations and plans to improve the health of the Merrimack River but we would also look to communicate with our neighbors further up-stream, in New Hampshire who also have a large impact on the River’s health,” said Representative Robertson. “The Merrimack River is taking a beating with sewage discharge and other pollution, which means that towns like Tewksbury spend even more money clearing and cleaning the water to be safe to drink. A study would identify the priorities and offer solutions.”The second bill, (S. 458) also filed by Sen. DiZoglio, and co-sponsored by Rep. Robertson calls for the creation of a color-coded flagging system along the Merrimack River. The state will create the flag system based on the level of combined sewer overflow (CSO) pollution in the river. The flag that reflects the current warning level will be flown at well-used public access points, such as boat ramps. The state will also create a mobile notification system to which people can subscribe to find out what flag is being flown.“It’s important to keep in mind that this flagging system would only be an improvement to the current situation and not a solution to the overall problem of the Merrimack River being overburdened by its watershed community,” added Representative Robertson. “This is an issue of significant concern for those of us who boat, paddle, fish and swim in the Merrimack, and for the more than 600,000 people who get their drinking water from the river.”In addition to the aforementioned hearing, just this past Tuesday the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that the Olin superfund site was placed on the Agency’s Administrator’s Emphasis List of fifteen sites to be targeted for “immediate, intense action,” according to the EPA’s definitions of this list.Upon hearing this news, Representative Robertson warned: “While this is big news for the Olin Chemical Superfund site, I encourage the community to be cautiously optimistic. It is of course good for the site to be getting attention and prioritized for cleanup by the EPA, but the fact of the matter is that there is no absolute commitment of additional funding or action associated with a site’s inclusion on this list. And, don’t get me wrong, I so look forward to this decades-long issue being addressed, but I want it to be done completely and safely and will continue to be vigilant so until we all see the meaningful action that our community deserves.”Anyone interested in these or other matters are encouraged to contact the office of Representative David Robertson at David.Robertson@MAHouse.gov or at 617-722-2210×4.Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email email@example.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedVIDEO: State Rep. Dave Robertson Talks With WCTV About His First 7 Months In OfficeIn “Videos”STATE REP RACE: Tewksbury Republican Committee Attack Robertson Over Wilmington Democratic Committee Chair’s StatementIn “Government”ALL POLITICS ARE LOCAL: Robertson & Gordon Endorse Ed Markey With Possible Kennedy Showdown LoomingIn “Government”
Nancy Bean’s home in Kake. Her holiday lights display is powered by diesel. (Photo courtesy of Nancy Bean.)Diesel is running about $2.71 per gallon in Southeast Alaska, but in places that depend on diesel for electricity, there are still households that won’t let the cost dampen the holiday spirit.Listen NowFor Nancy Bean, a Kake resident, it started off small — with a couple of light-up reindeer. But every year, she’s added something new.“We have lights everywhere,” Bean said with a laugh. “Some houses have a little bit and some houses have a lot. I have more than a lot.”Outside, Bean’s yard has a decorative train, two angels with trumpets, a waving Santa, strings and strings of multicolored lights and more.“One thing we bought, and I don’t think we’ll do this again, is we bought a 10-foot Christmas tree. A blowup. And it is beautiful when the wind’s not blowing,” Bean said.Kake is a small community of about 600 people. And Bean estimated there are nearly 20 homes decked out for the holidays.What’s powering those festive displays is diesel, which can be expensive. Bean qualifies for power cost equalization, a state funded program that helps lower electric rates in remote places. Still, she said on average, the lights add up to an extra $200 on her electric bill.Frank Willis said, so far, it’s cost him about $20 extra dollars on his electric bill to keep the lights up. (Photo courtesy of Frank Willis)North of Kake, in Angoon, Frank Willis said his is one of only three or four houses decorated for the holidays. And his display was hard fought.“The first one we put up the dogs chewed through it,” Willis said.Angoon is another village with less than 500 people. And like Kake, it also runs off diesel.“Putting up Christmas lights used to be a big thing around here. And it’s just kind of, like, going downhill the past few years,” Willis said. “[I’m] just hoping to get everyone back in the spirit.”Nancy Bean said that’s what motivates her. When pressed, she’s modest about having a house that looks like a snow globe, one of the most decorated in Kake. She said both adults and children stop to admire the twinkling lights and the waving Santa.There’s this one girl, she said:“Her mother passed away, and she’s staying with her uncle. And he brings her up every single night, and he lets her run around in the yard. I can sit in my living room, and I can hear her laugh,” Bean said. “And that’s what it’s all about.”When asked if she’ll buy more holiday displays next year, Bean answered “yes” — without hesitation. She said it’s not just the decorations that light up, it’s the faces of the people, too.
In Episode 4, we take a look at the 2017 Iditarod, including: The race route from Fairbanks to Nome, big rule changes, mushers to watch, the ceremonial start, and we answer a few questions from our listeners.Listen now
A general view shows Mount Agung erupting seen from Kubu sub-district in Karangasem Regency on Indonesia’s resort island of Bali on Tuesday. photo: AFPPlumes of ash from a rumbling volcano forced Indonesian authorities to close Bali’s airport for a second day Tuesday, as a threatened eruption stranded tourists and forced mass evacuations.Tens of thousands of frightened people have fled their homes near Mount Agung, which looms over the resort island, as experts raised the alert level to maximum and warned it could erupt at any moment.Towering columns of thick grey smoke have been belching from the volcano since last week, and in the last few days have begun shooting into the sky, forcing all flights to be grounded until at least Wednesday morning.“The Volcanic Ash Advisory shows that the plane routes have been covered by volcanic ash, this is dangerous for the flights,” Wisnu Darjono from the air traffic agency AirNav official said.Some 40,000 people have abandoned their homes in the danger zone but as many as many as 100,000 will likely be forced to leave, disaster agency officials have said.The exclusion zone around Agung, which is 75 kilometres away from the beachside tourist hub of Kuta, has also been widened to 10 kilometres.As of late Monday some 445 flights had been cancelled, affecting more than 59,000 people travelling to Bali, a top holiday destination that attracts millions of foreign tourists every year.The airport on nearby Lombok island-also a popular tourist destination east of Bali-closed on Sunday as ash headed in that direction, but reopened early Monday.Memories of disasterMount Agung last went off in 1963, killing some 1,600 people in one of the deadliest eruptions ever seen in a country with nearly 130 active volcanoes.Memories of that disaster have helped drive people towards community centres and makeshift camps, including villagers who have to leave precious livestock behind.“I am very worried because I have experienced this before,” 67-year-old Dewa Gede Subagia, who was a teenager when Agung last roared, told AFP from one evacuation centre.“I hope this time I won’t have to evacuate for too long. In 1963, I left for four months.”Experts said however that Agung’s recent activity matches the build-up to that disaster which ejected enough debris-about a billion tonnes-to lower global average temperatures by 0.2 – 0.3 degrees Celsius for about a year.“What we are seeing at the moment are small explosions, throwing out hot gases and fragments of molten rock, or ash,” said David Pyle, a volcano expert at the University of Oxford in Britain.“The probability of a large eruption is high, but this may take some days or weeks to unfold.”Agung rumbled back to life in September, forcing the evacuation of 140,000 people living nearby. Its activity decreased in late October and many returned to their homes.However, on Saturday the mountain sent smoke up into the air for the second time in a week in what volcanologists call a phreatic eruption-caused by the heating and expansion of groundwater.Then on Monday so-called cold lava flows appeared-similar to mud flows and often a prelude to the blazing orange lava seen in many volcanic eruptions.Indonesia is the world’s most active volcanic region. The archipelago nation with over 17,000 islands lies on the Pacific “Ring of Fire” where tectonic plates collide, causing frequent volcanic and seismic activities.Last year, seven were killed after Mt. Sinabung on the western island of Sumatra erupted, while 16 were left dead by a Sinabung eruption in 2014.
Public domainA network of six Houston clinics called Central Care Health Services is suing the federal government after losing a bid for continued funding.The network has clinics in Sunnyside, Third Ward, Acres Homes, and Humble. The network relies on federal grants to provide healthcare to the underprivileged. Last year Central Care received $5 million dollars in grant money from the Department of Health and Human Services. The new recipient of the grant has not yet been announced. “Generally these are areas that do not have very many choices of doctors or other clinics that are available,” said Ken Janda, who operates a low-income health insurance provider. “A lot of our members use Central Care right now and so we would want to make sure that whoever is coming into that area very rapidly ramps up and can take on those patients and maintain continuity of care for them,” Janda said.He said for many patients, the time between Central Care closing and whoever receives the grant opening up may create a gap in coverage due to a lack of options in the area.A federal judge has issued a temporary restraining order, forcing the the federal government to provide funds to Central Care, keeping the clinics open.The case is set to go to court Monday, January 8, 2018. Share X Listen 00:00 /00:57 To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: